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This article is by “TANKER”
By RS fan “Tanker”
How to Stay Safe in Rockford
Rockford Illinois is a sh!thole. It has neighborhoods ranked among the most violent in the USA. Local law enforcement is undermanned, city government is clueless, local media peddles fake news, and our disastrous school district releases a steady trickle of astonishingly stupid young thugs. Thousands of parents either don’t give a damn about what their kids do, or can’t control them. Always helpful, the Feds transplanted a bunch of thug housing tenants to Rockford from other cities, then recently threatened the city into building another project, after the thugs destroyed the old one and the surrounding neighborhood. We have too many thug-coddling do-gooders who bend over backwards to welcome and help probies, parolees, drifters, and poor misguided violent recidivist gangsta juvies. Rockford is such an easy touch for criminals that they flock here from out of town to prey on us.
Therefore, to be safe in Rockford is to be self-reliant. Here is some of what you need to know about staying safe in Rockford.
Staying safe means keeping yourself from being injured or killed by violence. You must focus on that goal, and forget lesser goals. Most good people have noble imperatives prominent in their psyches, like these:
Bullies must be punished.
Wrongs must be righted.
Strangers in distress must be helped.
Provocations demand a response.
Only cowards run from a fight.
If you want to stay safe, you must banish those thoughts from your mind completely. You are not an avenger, not a hero, not brave. Your only goal is to get thru another day without getting shot by a thug or punched to death by a brawler. When you run from a fight, it is going to hurt your ego very badly, but not as badly as your gut will hurt with a slug in it, nor as badly as your family will hurt when you are dead or paralyzed at the hands of a taunting scumbag. The only way to truly win a fight or a shootout is not to be there.
Most of self-defense is situational awareness. Avoid stupid people in stupid places doing stupid things at stupid times. Some suggestions:
Don’t go out at night.
Don’t go to bars. Drink at home; it’s cheaper and safer.
Don’t ever go to a destination described as a “house party” or a “nightclub,” or that’s advertised only on social media.
Rethink your other destination choices. For example, how safe are you in a movie theater, and during the trip there and back? More to the point, why are you watching movies at the theater instead of at home, where it’s cheaper, safer, and far more convenient? Why go to the library when the book or music or movie you want is online? Why go to a store when you can buy something online for less?
Be aware of common scams, like the “I just need 5 dollars for gas to get home to Beloit” parking-lot scam, the fake meter-reader and college-survey and home repair scams. Do not engage salesmen; shut them down at once so they get the hint right away.
If you are on the street alone and see a male/males approaching, change your path so as to keep distance. Don’t be afraid of hurting people’s feelings by avoiding them, and don’t feel embarrassed for protecting yourself. If they look bad, they are bad. Your gut is smarter than your brain in this situation. Cross the street, do a 180, and even run if you have to, but don’t let them get close enough to ask you anything. That’s how they evaluate you as a target. If they change direction and pace to match yours, you are in serious danger.
Don’t help people in apparent distress. Call 911. If 911 tells you to assist, ask them if they’ll pay your hospital and/or funeral bills.
Don’t help the homeless and beggars; it enables them, and then we have more of them, increasing their misery and our crime rate. If you give them cash, what do you think they’ll do with it? Buy mental health care?
When you see trouble (a fight, shouting, people running, crazy drivers, etc.) immediately leave the area. Don’t gawk, don’t get involved, just get away!
Meet your kids’ friends, and nix the bad ones. You know the bad ones when you meet them.
Monitor your kids’ online communications. Yes, I’m telling you to spy on them! The stuff you find will shock you, guaranteed. You may even save your kid’s life.
Don’t use isolated ATMs. On the other hand, you may be safer to pay-at-the-pump-with-card if it saves you a trip inside the gas station convenience store.
Some locations attract certain kinds of crime. Gym parking lots are prime car break-in territory, because people leave their stuff in the car while they work out. Convenience stores and gas stations sell the products that ATTRACT thugs: alcohol, blunts, lottery, etc. Avoid bodegas that accept EBT. Big boxes and malls have thieves, beggars and many spectacular riots you can view in the safety of your home on YouTube. Don’t let your kid use a library restroom or park district restroom alone.
Do craigslist transactions at the police dept, if at all.
Tactfully disengage associations with hotheads, passive-aggressives, drunks, etc.
If you’re in an abusive relationship, get out now.
Violent crime occurs everywhere in sh!thole Rockford, but some neighborhoods are undeniably worse than others, and you can easily determine which ones they are by consulting the internet. Avoid those areas.
Don’t engage road ragers. If you are sometimes tempted to engage road ragers, try always listening to gentle music in the car, and always plan your trips so that you are never in a hurry to get someplace on time. (If you ARE a road rager, go die in a fire.)
Don’t engage the many surly thugs who loiter in our streets, deliberately interfering with traffic, defying and mad-dog-staring at motorists, hoping for conflict. Don’t say anything, don’t flip them off, don’t make a face, just get away.
Watch your six often. Head on a swivel.
Another key to self-protection is defeating the thugs, i.e., stopping making it easy for them. Here are some ideas:
DO NOT EVER LEAVE YOUR CAR UNLOCKED. Rockford has hundreds of opportunistic thugs who steal cars the same way you and I might casually catch a bus. We also have organized thieves who patrol our streets (especially before AM rush hour, and during cold weather) looking for easy cars to steal. If your car is locked, they CANNOT steal it. Even if there’s a way the average thug can easily defeat the standard steering wheel interlock, it is more trouble than it’s worth to them. But people continue to LET their cars get stolen, which are then often USED IN CRIMES AGAINST US. If YOU leave your car unlocked, or worse, running unattended, then YOU are part of the cause of our local crime problems. Yes, I’m blaming “victims” here! Rockford thugs KILL innocent people with stolen cars.
Don’t leave valuables in your car, whether you hide them or not.
Lock your doors as soon as you enter the car. Be prepared to drive quickly after entering. Be prepared to exit quickly upon parking. Stopped at traffic signals, try to leave room to maneuver if attacked. You are quite vulnerable sitting in a stopped car.
Do all the recommended stuff to protect your home: exterior lighting, get rid of thug-hiding shrubbery, install strong window and door locks, don’t reveal possession of stuff thugs want. (Surveillance video isn’t much use. You’ll get great pics of unrecognizable guys disguised in hoodies, but they are still going to break in.)
Be careful who you answer the door for. Ideally, don’t answer the door AT ALL for unexpected knocks; instead turn on lights, play loud music or TV, so the knocker knows you’re home, then be vigilant until he’s gone. There’s no law that says you have to answer your door, or phone.
Women: Do you really need to carry a purse? You’ll be less of a target, and less encumbered without one. Do you regard your purse as a weapon of defense? There are better ones.
Women: Don’t ever walk in this sh!thole alone if you can help it. Never get on an elevator alone with a man you don’t know well, and maybe not even then. Nobody should be alone in a parking structure at night; make your employer provide an escort.
If you run a garage sale, keep your money in your pocket, not in a box on the table! Yes, people really are that stunningly naive.
Keep your credit cards and ID in one pocket. Keep your wallet in another. If you get mugged, give up the wallet. Asshole gets the cash, you save the hassle of rearranging your whole life afterwards.
Now you’re situationally aware, and you’ve taken measures to defeat the thugs. That leaves active defense. The bad news is, if you get to the point of needing to employ active defense, then:
You have failed at your situational awareness.
You have failed to make it hard for the bad guy.
You are in serious danger.
Even if you prevail, your life might be ruined in the aftermath.
I don’t know much about unarmed defense, but I guess that mental attitude, physical conditioning and practice are probably the most important factors. I’m skeptical about most of the chop-socky stuff on offer. Know this: victims have been killed in Rockford with only punches. Go elsewhere for more info on hand-to-hand combat. Start with the brief “Principles of Self-Defense,” by Jeff Cooper, which you can find free online.
Armed self-defense is now legally available to us in shithole Rockford, and I, among others, am a concealed carrier. So I’ll talk about guns instead of Krav-Maga.
I’ll repeat one above point very very specifically: if you need to use a gun, you may live, but your life will be likely ruined. So FIRST do EVERYTHING you possibly can to AVOID needing to use it.
You can use a gun ONLY to protect yourself against the threat of imminent death or grievous bodily harm. The threat must be apparent (the guy really wants to kill you and you can show it,) actionable (the guy has the means to carry out the threat,) imminent (you can’t shoot him just because he promises he’ll kill your mother after work,) and a whole bunch of other righteousness. You can shoot ONLY to STOP the threat. Once the threat stops, you have to stop shooting; you even have to try to help the dirtbag survive. In defending yourself with gunfire, you are presumptively charged with at least one crime, and you’ll require an affirmative legal defense against that presumed charge (“Yes I broke the law, but here are my very good reasons.”)
For example, imagine you get stuck up on the street in Rockford, by just one opportunistic handgun-wielding mutant, usually a feral kid with more probation officers than parents, who caught you with your guard down. You hand him your throwaway wallet. Based on common knowledge of our shithole city crime history, you know that 99.9% of the time the little dogturd will then leave without killing you, and maybe 97% of the time without beating you.
So if you shoot the animal (and it’s undeniably tempting to do so,) you are going to have to explain why, since most victims survive this kind of Rockford thug encounter without slapping leather. You’ll have to explain it to police, to the thug’s lawyers, to a jury, maybe to a prick prosecutor who hates armed self-defense and wants to make an example out of you. (If it turns out the kid had only a BB gun, you are worse than sunk.) But even if you beat the criminal charges, then the civil suit circus comes to town, because thug families and their lawyers thrive on civil settlements, and they revel in the media celebrations of their shakedowns. Maybe you’ll get really lucky and the plugged-thug’s friends will want to look you up.
See, the gun didn’t help you at all in that typical street crime situation, did it? Bet you thought it would!
Despite all that peril to the armed defender, there are scenarios where using a gun is probably nevertheless necessary. One kind is the secondary-location threat: an armed thug orders you into a car, or an armed robber orders you into the cooler at the convenience store. In these situations, you know you have to open fire or die. Another is when the bad guy shoots first. Another is armed home invasion, and we have plenty of those in shithole Rockford.
But really, it’s unlikely to ever need to use a gun. If you do use it against a single assailant, maybe half of the time you’ll prevail, and live to face the awful aftermath. A gun can’t make you safe, only maybe slightly marginally safer in a few very rare situations. If you get a gun, don’t believe or act like you’re safe. Don’t tempt fate.
So you decided to get a gun. Here are some tips:
Take the training first. Train often.
Read. Watch videos online. Learn something about firearms, an inexhaustable topic.
Try many guns before purchasing any. You’ll have to find a rental range to do that ($) Don’t buy the first thing you hear recommended. Take your time.
If you’re going to carry, you may have to invest in new clothes ($)
Practice. You’re going to need to join a gun club to do that ($) You are going to need to buy ammo to do that ($) Practice some more. Don’t stop practicing.
Practice realistic scenarios, especially draw, retention, and shoot-and-move.
Pay full attention to reholstering study. Make sure you know when to reholster, and how to do it without shooting yourself.
Pick the right gun for the right job. I love my AR, but I won’t use it for home defense because I don’t want to overpenetrate and kill the neighbors. I love my B92, but it’s too big to carry. Based on forensic statistics, 22LR is a very highly lethal round, and most people find it easy to shoot accurately, but is a poor choice for stopping a threat. Etc.
Keep your guns secure. If you don’t, maybe one of your kid’s friends will find it, shoot himself, or shoot your kid, or steal it and shoot me. Maybe you’ll come home someday and be looking at the business end of your own gun. Or at best, explaining to your insurer why you left your guns unsecured and so easily stolen.
Don’t tell anyone you have guns. Don’t put pro-gun stickers on your bumper, nor “Guarded By Smith-Wesson” signs on your property. First rule of concealed-carry club is “you do not talk about concealed-carry club.”
If you carry, keep it on your body always. Do not carry off-body. Do not carry in a purse. Do not carry a gun you need to remove to use a public restroom. Pick a gun that is so easy to carry that you will always carry it. Carry it both in and out of the home.
If you’re sitting in your car, unless you keep your gun right there out on the console, it’s not very likely it’s going to do you any good at all if surprised. You just can’t get to it quickly enough. Again, in a stopped car, you are a seatbelted fish in a barrel.
Don’t draw a gun from concealment unless you are going to shoot.
You may be able to run away from a single attacker armed with a handgun. It is difficult to shoot a handgun well, thugs don’t get much practice, and their guns are sometimes unloaded, broken or fake. At 15 yards or more, outside the home, you could be better off running than shooting. At that distance, if you shoot first, your self-defense legal standing for imminence and actionability of threat is hard to show. On the other hand, if the attacker pursues, you have to shoot to stop him.
In response to the popularity of concealed carry, Rockford thugs have adapted well, now often working in armed mobile teams. I haven’t figured out yet what I’d do if confronted by three armed attackers on the street. At home, with a working intrusion alarm, with enough mag capacity, and better knowledge of the battleground, an unsurprised armed victim has at least a little chance against an armed trio attack. Make no mistake: people who break in to your home, knowing that you are there, are prepared to kill you, even if that’s not their primary plan.
If you drink, are a hothead, a stalker, a thug, want to publish gangsta gun selfies on Facebook, have something to prove, can’t control your kids, think a gun will make you invulnerable, or just seem to get in physical fights a lot, then don’t get a gun. There’s little chance it will turn out well.
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